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As Canada’s West-Coast Beef Continues to Sizzle, Who's Getting Played?

We spoke to Moka Only, Snak the Ripper, Madchild, and others to investigate deeper into this affair.

Snak the Ripper and Madchild in happier times.

When British Columbia rappers Madchild and Snak the Ripper started fighting in late October, the internet whipped into a frenzy of opinions. Canada—nay—the world took to their keyboards as artists and fans on both sides of the Battleaxe Warriors and Stompdown Killaz (SDK) movements fired shots. But that same audience also had questions. Is this a fight for justice to expose Madchild’s alleged transgressions? Or are Snak and other artists just trying to make names for themselves? New followers have been gained for both sides, industry figures have weighed in, shows have been booked, and albums will drop. This rap feud appears to be healthy for the industry, but what’s real and what’s fake? Ever diligent, we conducted a search to find out.

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To recap, trouble started when Swollen Member and Baxwar’s general Madchild tweeted harsh words against SDK’s Snak. Snak reciprocated with his “Assisted Suicide” diss track; Madchild dropped “The Funeral” rebuttal seven days later; and then, Snak came back with “Child Abuse” the day after Madchild’s response. The battle brought out Vancouver artists like Tre Nyce and Brevner, who released their own diss tracks ripe with allegations against Madchild. Now the battle spans coast to coast, evident by a video Madchild posted on November 6. In the video, a Worcester, Massachusetts crowd can be seen chanting, “Fuck Snak.” Madchild captioned the clip, “They're idea, not mine , you're finally getting noticed Snak [sic].”

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They're idea, not mine , you're finally getting noticed Snak

Posted by

Madchild

on Thursday, November 5, 2015

The allegations being thrown around by both sides blur the line between hip-hop entertainment and real life allegations with serious repercussions. Snak’s accusations that Madchild has hair plugs or can’t remember bars without the aid of a cell phone make for amusing slams. And when Madchild pokes at Snak’s lyrical obsession with taking shits in “The Funeral,” that’s pure Shakespeare. However, statements given to Noisey by Snak, Nyce and Brevner point to a multitude of supposed bad financial dealings with Madchild and his camp. In light of Madchild’s ongoing court battle with the Battleaxe Warrior company co-founder David Wathlo, treachery may be in BC’s water. Meanwhile, Madchild told Noisey prior to the release of “The Funeral” this whole beef is “a complete and total business tactic” by Snak and his SDK crew.

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During a recent phone interview from BC, Snak responded to Madchild’s claim, saying, “[It’s] definitely not a business tactic … This guy thinks he can fuckin’ do and say what he wants, and basically that’s what this is. I’m speaking on behalf of the city of Vancouver. This is the city Madchild comes from. So all you people from fuckin’ Colorado or wherever the fuck you’re from, you don’t know shit. I know [Madchild] personally … I’m just letting people know that they’re supporting a fucking douchebag.”

Still, the November 6 release of a music video from SDK’s Merkules featuring Snak looks suspicious. The rapper admitted, “It’s funny timing.” Additionally, Snak has an Australian tour starting in December, and he hinted at a forthcoming album coming out around January. When asked if this beef is a marketing ploy, Snak said, “I’ve seen a lot of that [opinion]—people saying I did it for publicity and shit like that.”

“Really, that’s not the case at all. I think people are starting to forget the fact that [Madchild] dissed me publicly in front of thousands of people … If you’re going to talk shit about me publicly to your fans, then I’m going to say some shit.”

As for Snak’s take on Madchild’s “The Funeral,” he said it was “weak,” there was no video and it sounds like it wasn’t mastered. By comparison, Snak pointed out his two diss tracks were fully produced and both had videos. He re-stated the effort “wasn’t for publicity.”

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However, the release of the second video, “Child Abuse,” is dubious. Madchild uploaded “The Funeral” in the late afternoon of November 4. Apparently, less than 24 hours after that release, Snak wrote bars for “Child Abuse,” recorded and fully mastered the track, and then he filmed and edited a video complete with graphics. Oh, and the video was filmed in broad daylight. Maybe he did that. Or it’s possible Snak made “Child Abuse” shortly after his first diss track and waited for Madchild to make a move. When asked to address the timeline for the video production, Snak said, “I don’t sleep. I just rap, record and edit.”

When Snak first spoke to Noisey about the west-coast war, he said his resentment for Madchild started in 2011 during the MADE tour. Madchild allegedly didn’t pay Snak for his work during this time. However, upon further investigation, Snak is featured alongside Madchild in a Swollen Members song two years later on 2013’s “Fear.” Snak explained this discrepancy.

“[2011] is when I first noticed the guy was a douchebag. And then right around the ‘Fear’ track is when I noticed the guy was an opportunist, and he was trying to take advantage of whoever he could to make his own fanbase strong. That’s the only reason he tried to put me in Battleaxe Warriors. When he first asked me, that’s when I was his friend—when I felt bad for him. After a couple years, I realized he didn’t want me in Battleaxe, he wanted my fans to big up his bank.”

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Snak went on to say, “[Madchild] never paid me shit,” for the 2011 tour or 2013’s “Fear” feature. As for why Snak even did the feature, given their bad history, he explained friends warned him not to do it. He revealed he didn’t ask for money for “Fear,” but he said, “Somewhere deep inside, I knew this day would come. I knew I was gonna body him on his own track.” When asked if Snak was going to battle at King of the Dot, as per Madchild’s challenge, Snak refused to comment. He then addressed Madchild’s diss in “The Funeral,” which says he constantly rhymes about taking shits. Snak said, “Guess what? I’m taking a shit right now. I’m a human being, unlike Madchild.” Snak ended the call with an audible toilet flush, quipping, “There goes Madchild.”

While Snak appears to be in good spirits, former Swollen Member Moka Only has been doing damage control. He was pulled into the drama when Madchild dropped his name in “The Funeral.” According to lyrics in that song, Moka asked Madchild to “kick [Snak’s] fucking head in.” In Snak’s “Child Abuse” video, an apparent text conversation with Moka and Snak shows that request was a lie. Brevner name checks him too in his “Waterloo” diss track. During a phone interview from Vancouver, Moka said, “I had no warning at all.” He said he “felt disappointed” and “awkward” about being named but “not in the sense to ruin any relationship.” Ostensibly, he wished to remain neutral in this beef.

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Moka has been attempting to clear his name of the situation through a series of online posts and videos. He said he regrets speaking out publicly in those posts, and he should have personally talked to Madchild and Snak to “rationalize” his sentiments. Moka told Noisey, “In the 90s it was all about battles and street and all that, and I enjoyed that, but personally I’ve moved on.” The former Swollen Member now brands his music as “horse jazz,” a chill hip-hop fusion far from the hip-hop that Snak and Madchild perform. He wanted to keep his music out of the conversation, fearing people would accuse him of speaking about the beef for attention. One of his motivations for commenting on the Madchild and Snak feud was to calm down aggressive fans. “It’s ridiculous,” Moka said, “I’ve had people threatening violence on me, trying to claim that I’ve sold them out and whatever, and that’s not the case.”

Noisey asked Moka if Madchild is a good person, to which Moka responded, “He’s been a good person to me.” Speaking to rumours of Madchild’s shady financial transactions with other artists, Moka stated, “All my dealings with Mad were straight. I don’t recall a time when we were working together when I wasn’t paid clearly and the transactions weren’t transparent. As far as the accusations and stuff, that’s not my business.” Later, he underscored, “I got paid well too,” noting he still has the rights to his content after leaving Battleaxe. As for why he quit Swollen, Moka said creative differences got in the way, and he had no conflict with Madchild. He pointed out, “Up until last year, we still do the odd quote unquote reunion show.” When asked if working with Madchild made his career better, Moka said, “Hell yeah.”

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Swollen Member Prevail gave his thoughts via email. Noisey asked the rapper to respond to the allegations surrounding Madchild’s possible drug use and business affairs. “As far as Mad’s [reputation,]” Prevail wrote, “it's no secret he's been through ups and downs in his life. Being in Swollen for the past 20 years, like any group with longevity, you are bound to have disagreements once in awhile. There have been some things Mad has done I didn’t agree with, but at the end of the day, we have been through so many peaks and valleys in our career, that we have forged a unique friendship and I truly believe it will endure.”

Meanwhile, Madchild has been left dealing with the aftermath of Snak's “Child Abuse” diss track. We reached out to Madchild via email, and he wrote, “It’s funny how [Snak] can release this track and completely ignore the challenge to battle me at KOTD. I'd love to hear why he won't battle me and why he keeps evading that. He has no problem hiding in his home studio recording these tracks or shooting videos, but he still refuses step up and battle me face to face. If he's such a true emcee then why is he ducking a face-to-face battle? Let's do it for free [and] donate the money to charity … He needs to stop hiding behind a microphone or keyboard and come out and face me on stage.” As for a musical reply to “Child Abuse,” Madchild stated, “There will be a response.”

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He still believes Snak’s ability to quickly produce diss tracks and videos is part of “a strategy.” Madchild said, “Kids don't understand how a tour works and that I'm flying or driving for eight hours a day to get to my next show, performing, and then getting up the next day to do it all over again. Finding a studio just isn't a reality when you have a nine-hour drive that day, but people don't understand that, and I get it. But Snak does understand that, but he wants to make himself look better.”

Addressing allegations aimed at him by Snak and other emcees like Brevner and Nyce, Madchild said, “It's just them trying to assassinate my character and they're making up whatever lies will get them headlines.” Madchild maintained Snak is “an opportunist looking to cash in on the publicity this whole rap beef is giving him.” He went on to state, “[Snak] will continue to put out [tracks and videos] against me because he’s getting more views than ever before, and he’s trying to attract more than 50 fans to one of his shows.”

We reached out to Brevner by instant message. He has never identified as being with Battleaxe or SDK. His “Waterloo” diss track, among other things, jabs at Madchild’s purported bad financial dealings after filming the “Jitters” video together in 2012. Brevner claimed he fronted money produce it, but Madchild never paid him back.

We asked Brevner if he’s seen an increase in viewer traffic during this beef and putting out the “Waterloo” diss track featuring Snak. He responded, “To be honest yeah, the support has been great. This wasn't a play to get new fans or anything, but I can't say I'm not stoked about it. I mean when you YouTube Madchild right now, ‘Waterloo’ is the 5th thing that comes up.” Brevner is currently going through a rebranding, but he stated this conflict is about making Madchild accountable. He said, “It's like my way to finally put a bookmark on that chapter in my life and start fresh. Leave nothing unanswered.”

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Madchild had a different take on the situation. He wrote, “Brevner is again upset because he hasn't done anything noteworthy in the three years since ‘Jitters’ was released, and he can release a diss track and get more attention than he could ever get with his own music. It’s easy for these guys to release diss tracks against me, because they can grab their five seconds of fame. I hope they enjoy it while it lasts.”

Nyce was a Battleaxe Warrior up until 2011 following an alleged bad deal with Madchild during the previous year’s Armed to the Teeth tour. Nyce said he wasn’t paid for his work at that time. Noisey asked him about the hype he received after dropping the “#SADCHILD” diss track, and Nyce said he did it to expose Madchild. “It's not like I'm gonna blow up because I dissed [Madchild.]” Nyce explained, “People fail to realize he ain't shit in the grand scheme of things. It's not like I dissed a top-five rapper and they responded. Madchild ain't even top 50. It's more so about the fact that he stole from me creatively and financially.”

Madchild dismissed these claims.

“I'm not going to waste any time talking about Matt Brevner or Tre Nyce, because it just doesn't warrant a response. We toured all over North America with Tre and tried to set him up in a position where he could launch a solo career, but when his debut single came out it sold something like 30 copies the first week. It was an epic failure, and he's upset that his music has never connected with anyone.”

As for the future of this beef, Madchild said, “Battles have been a part of hip-hop for decades, and they will continue to be a part of the culture. Drake and Meek Mill are still going strong after their feud, and the same with 50 Cent and Rick Ross years later.” He wanted fans to remember this war “is between two rappers.”

“The last thing I would want to have happen is for any Baxwar or Stompdown fans get into any sort of physical altercation over this.”

We will continue to monitor this story as it develops.

Devin Pacholik is a writer living in Saskatchewan. Follow him on Twitter.